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Pathfinders unite!

February 10, 2017


I love new fallen snow.  I love the look outside of the snow falling as if you are in a snow globe that is when I don’t have to go anywhere.  What I don’t like to look at, nor do I like seeing as I drive, is how the snow looks on the ground when it has become dirty and melting and icy and just yucky.  Yet that is a sign of a spring coming.  The ice is leaving from lakes and rivers.  You can almost hear the trees awakening.  Soon there will be new buds showing up on trees that will become leaves.  There will be plants popping up from a winter’s sleep.  I love winter and I love spring but the pathway between isn’t always an easy one.  Those seeking to be pathfinders need to unite.

Winter can be wonderful.  Spring, when it gets here, is really wonderful.  Transitions from winter to spring aren’t always so much fun.  My mother died in November of 2016.  I didn’t realize how much it would affect me and how much of a transition it would be and is.  The same is true for being retired.  I have so many things that I can work on and am working on that are great.  I really thought I could have a great business going with stamping and scraping.  I have opportunities but it isn’t like my dream/vision.

What surprised me about the transition in retirement is that I don’t feel like “being put out to pasture” just yet and still when “work” opportunities present themselves, I have said “no”.  I have skills.  I have resources.  I don’t know what to do with them.  Transitions are really, really tough.

At church there will be a workshop using the book “Designing Your Life:  How to build a well-lived, joyful life” by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans.  I have read a little and so far, I am intrigued.  I am reminded of the book “Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life” by Gail Sheehy.  People could see where they were but didn’t know how to get to the next place and so came a number of books by Gail (most notably Pathfinders) as well as others helping people to make passages, pathways and transitions.  Designing Your Life at first reminded me of the book “What color is your Parachute?” by Richard N. Bolles.  Actually when I went to to find out how to spell his name, I found out there is a “What color is your Parachute: in retirement”?  Who knew there were so many resources out there?

How does one get from where they are to where they need or want to be when there isn’t a map and you haven’t lived it yet?  Part of the problem is not even knowing at first that you need resources or information or that you aren’t even moving.  It is like sitting in a car and if the motor is on, one thinks one is going someplace.  It is like only looking in the review or side mirrors and only seeing what is behind and not seeing what lies ahead.   How does one see to go forward?  It depends on where you are focusing.   Looking in the review mirror can be 20-20 hindsight but it really blocks the view of going forward.  Looking in the side mirrors too can distort the view ahead.  Looking in the review mirror or side mirror can be a good reference point but isn’t useful for seeing what lies ahead.

Look around.  Enjoy where you are.  If you are in winter – enjoy that.  If you are in spring – enjoy that.  If you are transition – enjoy might not be the best word – but take time to breath, find resources, and look for a way to the next place to be.  Find people and places that can help focus forward.  The resources are out there so take a deep breath and take a step of faith.


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